- HEALTH TRACKER
Before & After
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Steven Hendrick, M.D.
The night I attended the informational WLS seminar I knew right away that I wanted Dr. Hendrick to do my surgery. I had absolutely no doubts. My first impression was that he was not only a very competent surgeon but that he really cares about the success of his patients. He had a sense of humor as he explained the details of bariatric surgery and had people laughing but he was also very, very serious when he needed to be especially when it came to laying out the expectations he has for his patients. In order to be his patient you must be comitted to play by \"his rules\"---if not then----\"you need to go find yourself another surgeon\". I loved that he was so up front with everything. Some people may be put off by his bluntness but I appreciate the fact that he is so very serious and 100% committed to every patient's success. Dr. Hendrick is a no nonsense kind of guy and he made it crystal clear that he pulls no punches, means what he says and even went as far as to warn us that he would be in our face if we fail to do what is expected of each of us after suregry. The Bariatric Suregry Center staff has been amazing. They have been so helpful with everything and never seemed a bit aggravated by repeated e-mails and calls. They are a skilled team and operate a very structured program---I am the kind of person who is very thorough--probably overboard thorough and I felt that the education I received on the medical procedures, risks, benefits, pre-op and post-op details were comprehensive and clear. My nutritionist, Rachel, was amazing and took a lot of time with me and gave me tons of advice and encouragement. I could not have done all of the preparation without the entire staff, Robbie and Keisha were happy to help everytime I called. And I have got to tell ya that when it came to the insurance approval process they totally rocked!!!! I feel like the whole office staff are like family and my personal cheerleading squad. I am sure the after care will be amazing as well and I will update that as it happens. rnI was just approved for my surgery yesterday (11/12/07) and am scheduled for my open RNY surgery on 12/12/07.
Latest Surgery Support Comments
This is my story and I am stick' to it!
This has been an amazing journey. Would I do it all over again? You bet I would!!! I won't say it has all been easy but it has been so worth it. I know that this is only the beginning with many more challenges ( and celebrations) ahead but I am up for it.
Okay so there was a little pain in the first days after the surgery but it was actually not as bad as I had expected it to be. The worst part of the whole thing was coming home with an annoying drainage tube and collection bulb-thingy attached with sutures to my belly. It did not hurt it was just terribly annoying especially when showering and it was always dangling and in the way. I had my surgery December 12, 2007 which was a Wednesday. I got the happy "relaxing" drugs at about 1:00 pm and went off to la-la land shortly thereafter. When I woke up from the anesthesia the pain was pretty well controlled and got to do the whole patient administered push-button narcotics which I have to say was great because it removed most of the pain. It also gave my friends and family an opportunity to have some great laughs at my expense. I guess I did and said some pretty weird stuff most of which I don't even remember.
I was discharged from the hospital on Friday morning and told to go home and make sure I started walking a mile every single day starting that day. I remember thinking that the doctor and nurses must be out of their freakin' minds-----there was no way I was going to go the gym that very day and I didn't either. I went home and took a long nap in my own bed and then took it pretty easy but kept moving. The next day my hubby helped me get dressed and cinched up my elastic girdle and even tied my gym shoes fo rme and off we went to the gym to work out. I did a mile on the treadmill allbeit very slowly. The next day I did 2 miles and so it has gone pretty much ever since (I have since graduated to the elyptical, weight machines and lots of crunches).
I had an open RNY procedure so yep...you got it, I was cut from the bra line to the navel and had about 16 stainless steel staples adorning my belly. I gotta tell you how liberating it was when I got the drainage tube and the staples out and I have to admit that popsicles never tasted so darn good than they did on day two after the surgery and when I graduated to yougurt and pudding it felt like a feast. Christmas was a bit difficult because my entire family was at my house and I was still eating the soft mushy foods while everyone else was indulging in many of my former favorites. Actually the worst part of the holiday was not being able to pick up my grand babies.
At the 4 week mark after my WLS I began having difficulty with food feeling stuck and I began vomiting and for about three days I was not able to eat or drink and keep it down so my doc scoped me and found that I had a stomal stenosis. The outlet from the pouch had closed from 13mm to 3mm. There was also a small peice of some buttressing material (something my surgeon used to strengthen the staple lines) that was partially blocking the outlet as well. No biggy though----my doctor just used a ballon to dialate the stoma which was an outpatient procedure and voila----I was as good as new. No problems since.
There are so many lifestyle changes that a WLS patient has to make and some of those were challenging for me as I am sure they are for most people. There is so much to remember and so many rules. You have the serious protein requirements, the 64 oz. of water to drink, the exercise, the nasty tasting chewable vitamins, ( I don't care how you slice or dice them or what flavor they are, they are not good---I finally went to the huge swallowable kind), the multiple small meals, etc., etc. At first I was most concerned about incorporating the new lifestyle and less concerned about how much weight I was losing and so it went and I got in to a routine and it has really has gotten easier and easier every day. I remember it used to take me like 45 minutes to get all my vitamins, minerals, biotin, and my normal medications down, taking one at a time waiting 5 minutes in between so as to not get that "oops their stuck" feeling. Now 4 months later I am a pro and can even take 2 pills at a time and it takes 5 minutes.
After experimenting with a multitude of protein powders and not being able to force them down due to highly discriminating palate, a super-sensitive gag reflex and after having been chastised several times by my wonderful surgeon I finally found my protein. It is chocolate fudge Myoplex and it gives me 42 grams in each pre-made shake (which I usually break up in to two different meals or snacks) and I am telling you it tastes just like chocolate milk. A clerk at Costco told me he uses the powdered variety in chocolate and vanilla and he swears they are really good too so I may try them since the ready to drink ones are a little pricey. I offer this up just in case some one else reading this has had similar "issues" with protein drinks and could benefit from my find.
After about 6 or 8 weeks I started noticing that my clothes were getting super loose and people started making comments about how I looked so much thinner. This was encouraging and made those times when I puked or got incredibly nauseous all worth it. Oh yeah, there is that learning curve part of the WLS too---like when you put too much food in or don't chew it up well enough or when you go too long without eating and get all dizzy and feel like crap. The puking thing has happened maybe a half a dozen times and three times in a public eatery (once on over cooked salmon---I don't recommend that and once because of my stoma closing up)!
I did make it to the restroom each time---fortunately.
All in all this journey has been exhilirating. I have lost about 65 pounds now (30-35 more to go) and have went from a size 20 jean to a 10 and loving it. I love to shop so "having to" buy new clothes has been pretty exciting stuff. Once I realized that I could no longer buy clothing in the "Womens Department" or the "Plus Size" stores I was delighted. There is one problem with regard to shopping. Instead of feeding my food addictions now I have what I fear may be an addiction to shoes. Darn!!! :) My husband is thrilled that he can put his arms all the way around me easily and is kind of frisky these days sort of like when we were first married. I am not gonna lie......I like the attention.
The best news yet is that I am off my CPAP machine and hopefully have nipped my predisposition to diabetes in the bud. I am feeling so much better about myself now that I am really seeing progress and my depression seems to be so much better when I am working out consistently. I need to do better at that because I have not been going every single day but don't tell my doctor---he would flip out on me. He is a "no excuses" kind a guy.
I will admit that sometimes it seems like this is all surreal. I mean I know it is real but when I look in the mirror sometimes I am not sure I recognize the person looking back at me. When you are obese for so long you are so used to looking at yourself through the eyes of an obese person and also "thinking obese" if that makes sense???!!!